|Regions with significant populations
|Sindh (Pakistan), India
|Related ethnic groups
Soomro (Sindhi: سومرو, Devanagari: सूमरो), Soomra, Sumrah or Sumra is a tribe having a local origin in Sindh. They are found in Sindh, parts of Punjab especially bordering Sindh, Balochistan province, and the Kutch district of the Indian state of Gujarat and also Rajasthan.
The Soomro tribe established the Soomra dynasty in 1025 CE, which re-established native Sindhi rule over Sindh since the Arab conquests. Many members of the Soomro caste were one of the first in Sindh to convert to Islam from Hinduism but initially continued to maintain several Hindu customs and traditions.
Many authors have presented conflicting accounts of Soomro's origins. In an old Balochi ballad, Dodo Soomra IV is mentioned as a Jaghdal (balochi term for Jat), marrying a baloch woman. From him, the Dodai clan of Balochs claim descent. Tabakat-i-Akbari (16th cen.) mentions Soomras as a Jat tribe. Some say their origins to be of Rajputs who migrated to Sindh from Rajasthan by linking them to the Parmar clan of Rajputs. Others like Ahmad Hasan Dani claims that "of this there is no definite proof" though he too affirms that they originate in the Indian subcontinent. M. H. Panhwar, a Sindhologist, also rejects a Rajput origin and attributes its to James Todd but still accepts native origin. Some writers have detailed about a subdivision in Jats with the name "Sumra". But Historian André Wink has mentioned that the Soomras were not Jats.
He has also explained that Soomras who were of local Sindhi origin and had been semi-independent rulers after the death of Mahmud of Ghazni were different to pastoral-nomadic Jats or Meds. As per him, rise of Soomras was one of the factor in movement of the Jats of lower Sindh towards north. Ghulam Hussain and others argue that the Soomros and other native tribes indigenous to Sindh slowly began to 'Ashrafize' themselves by remaking their genealogies to further associate themselves with Syeds whom they possibly intermarried and acquired power through.
Tarikh Waqa`i Rajisthan corroborates this viewpoint and confirms that Soomras were originally "Parmar Rajputs".
Pre-eminent Sindhi scholar Nabi Baksh Baloch tried to reconcile all different conflicting accounts of Soomra origin. He considered Soomras, a hybrid race that was mix of Sindhi-Arab blood, emerged after the Ummayad caliph Sulayman ibn Abd al-Malik’s decree asking Arab officers posted in Sindh to settle in the land permanently. Consequently they took Sindhi wives and subsequently married their daughters in Sindhi families.
Hence, Dr. Baloch writes that:
Soomras were descendents of these hybrid princes, whose ancestors, according to common legend, were either Arabs or their grand-sons on the mothers’ side
The Soomras are believed to be Parmar Rajputs found even today in Rajasthan, Saurashtra, Kutch and Sindh. The Cambridge History of India refers to the Soomras as "a Rajput dynasty the later members of which accepted Islam" (p. 54 ).
But as many kings of the dynasty bore local names, it is almost certain that the Soomras were of local origin. Sometimes they are connected with Paramara Rajputs, but of this there is no definite proof.
"Presence of Soomras in Kutch, Gujarat and Rajasthan in small numbers does not make them Rajputs either… All British period historians given in the table at end of this chapter have called Soomras as Rajputs under influence of Todd's writings. Actually they were local converted to Ismailism."
Other important braches and sub-divisions of the Jat in the Siraiki area include Panhwar, Parihar, Chajra, Daha, Jhakkar, Joiya, Guraha, Bhatti, Massan, Bhutta, Sahu, Sial, Jangla, Thind, Samtia, Sehar, Sumra…
The Jats were divided into several tribes . In the Western plain ( i.e. , West of Lahore ) excluding the salt range , and sub - montane tracts were to be found the Tahim , Butta , Langah , Sumra , Sipra and Hans
The Sammas rose to great power in Sind at about 1351 A.D., displacing the Sumras, who were not Jats and had achieved control of Lower Sind shortly after the death of Mahmud of Ghazna.
In Lower Sind however we become dimly aware of the existence in the eighth and ninth centuries of a tribal people, the Sumras, who shortly after the death of Mahmud Ghaznavi became quasi-independent rulers throughout the Multan region, even when it remained nominally incorporated in the Ghaznavid and Ghurid dominion and subsequently in the Delhi Sultanate. The Sumras were a dynasty of local origin, later claiming to be Rajputs as well as Arabs, and are clearly distinguishable from the pastoral-nomadic Jats or Mids. In fact, it could very well be that next to the Baluchi immigration from the west, the rise of the Sumras was a factor in pushing the Jats of Lower Sind northward.
Soomra, Samma and Kalhora indigenous castes (locally known as Sammat) were further ashrafized. After conversion to Islam they intermarried with local Arab landowners and thus had acquired great influence and power. By furnishing Tuhfa-tul-Kiram and Beglar Namah, the two books on the history, as the reference, they reconstructed their genealogies to have roots in Arabs and in association with the Sayeds. Hence, the Soomras claimed to be Sumerian Arabs; Sammas, the descendants of Jamshed Abbasi of Persia, and Kalhoras traced their descent to Abbasid Khalifas